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Ben Gibson reveals Gareth Southgate advised him to make Norwich transfer… now he’s eyeing England call too

BEN GIBSON moved to Norwich on the advice of Gareth Southgate.

Now back in the Prem and preparing for Saturday’s trip to champs Manchester City, the defender has not given up hope of finally appearing for his former manager with the England senior team.

Ben Gibson was in action against Liverpool last weekend

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Ben Gibson was in action against Liverpool last weekendCredit: AP
Gareth Southgate has been on hand to lend Gibson advice

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Gareth Southgate has been on hand to lend Gibson adviceCredit: PA

Gibson, who played for Southgate with England’s Under-21s, was on the bench for three senior games during 2017 — before his career took a  massive dive after a ‘disastrous’ £15million move from Middlesbrough to Burnley in 2018.

The 28-year-old played six times in two years for Sean Dyche and last summer turned to Southgate — who was also Boro boss when he was a youngster at the club — for some wisdom.

The centre-half spent last season on loan at Carrow Road, with promotion then triggering an £8m move.

He now hopes Norwich can finally end their rotten run in the Premier League after five relegations in their previous seven top-flight seasons.

Gibson said: “I did speak to Gareth before joining.

“It is testament to the man that, at the lowest point of my career, he was there for me.

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“I met up with him and we had a good conversation.

“Let’s be honest, he had much bigger concerns on his plate than speaking to a struggling player who he once managed — but he offered his opinion.

“He was complimentary about the way Norwich played and the area, a football club that is  definitely on the up.

“Gareth said, ‘You need to be playing football — back your ability,  you are a confident lad’.

“That helped me make the Norwich decision, along with massive input from my close family and friends.”

While at Middlesbrough, Gibson was given a late call-up for a World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania.

He said: “They had a couple of injuries from a game and I had sort of been on standby.

It would have been lovely to have that cap and it is not something I will give up on

Ben Gibson

“It was the best moment of my career and I could not believe I was going to be part of that set-up. It was followed by being called-up fully in the summer for a couple of games.

“I am still gutted as I never actually managed to get a cap. I was on the bench three times. It would have been lovely to have that cap and it is not something I will give up on.

“Scotland away was incredible, the atmosphere was so hostile.

“We equalised at the end with Harry Kane.

“We went to France. I thought I was going to get on.

The defender endured a rotten spell at Burnley

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The defender endured a rotten spell at BurnleyCredit: Getty

“The manager gave me the heads-up the day before that I could. But we were 3-1 down and they had ten men.

“I looked across the bench, I was trying to warm up and hoping he would put me on. 

“As I said, I have not given up the dream of getting that cap.

“Conor Coady, a friend of mine, has come into the squad without having been involved before and, although he does not play much, he has still become a big part of the set-up.”

Middlesbrough refused to let Gibson stay in the Premier League after they were relegated in 2017 — although he joined Burnley 12 months later.

He said: “It was disastrous. As a player you want to play and it is an experience I do not look back on fondly.

“I had a couple of hernia operations  and the manager was set with his team and the two centre-backs who, in fairness, did not let him down.”

Yet under Canaries boss Daniel Farke, Gibson helped Norwich on the way to the Championship title last season, although he suffered an ankle injury in March.

He said: “I have loved it and hopefully this year will be different for Norwich.

“We have to make sure this is not the same as past Premier League campaigns.”

To lose Emi is like Villa losing Grealish

Ben Gibson

The £33m departure of Emi Buendia to Aston Villa has been a big blow — but the Canaries have brought in Milot Rashica (£9.4m) plus Christos Tzolis (£9.3m) and Josh Sargent (£8m).

Gibson said: “To lose Emi is like Villa losing Grealish.

“Milot looks a handful but will take a bit of time to adjust. Christos and Josh also look good, so we have used the money well.

“We lost 3-0 to Liverpool on Saturday and people said, ‘Same old Norwich’ — but it was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests.

“We now go to Manchester City. They obviously have amazing players but we will go there with belief and confidence, hoping to upset the apple cart.”

Ben Gibson was an unused substitute as England drew 2-2 with Scotland in June 2017

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Ben Gibson was an unused substitute as England drew 2-2 with Scotland in June 2017Credit: –
The former Middlesbrough ace hasn't given up on his England dream

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The former Middlesbrough ace hasn’t given up on his England dreamCredit: PA:Press Association

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